Smile Designs

Gum Disease Prevention

Gum disease is a common but preventable dental issue. It is also known as periodontal disease. This disease can be a bit sneaky because you don’t know you have it. The bacterial cause of gum disease is that same that causes tooth decay and bad breath.  However, these bacteria can lead to other problems in the mouth and body.

Dental health and hygiene can impact your whole body. The bacteria, which cause periodontal disease, can impact your overall health and well-being. Untreated gum disease is a dangerous bacteria left in your body. Research has found it can contribute to:

  • Heart Disease
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Underweight baby at birth
  • Increased risk of pneumonia
  • Complications with Diabetes
  • Weak and/or brittle bones

Periodontal disease usually occurs in stages starting with gingivitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include sore gums, discolored gums, bleeding gums and bad breath. As gum disease progresses from gingivitis into periodontitis and advance periodontitis, the symptoms become more severe. The more advanced symptoms of gum disease include: gums receding from the teeth, loose teeth, changes in spacing, rotting teeth at the gum line or below and losing teeth.

However, gum disease is treatable and preventable. There are simple practices you can put in place to prevent the effects of gum disease.  Follow these practices for healthy gums and teeth:

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride. The best practice is to brush your teeth after you eat whether it’s a meal or a snack. However, twice a day will keep the gum-disease-causing-bacteria at bay.
  2. Floss your teeth every night. It is important to remove the plaque and other build-up that occurs between teeth. It is ideal to floss after every meal. It is handy to have special brush, a toothpick or even a special pick with floss. Ask your dentist about the best choice for your teeth and your lifestyle.
  3. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and a check-up. Your dentist is the expert on your teeth. Getting them checked twice a year is important for dental health. During your visit every six months get your teeth professionally cleaned. The dental hygienist uses special tools made for removing plaque from hard-to-reach places.
  4. Don’t use tobacco products. Tobacco is terrible for your tooth health and gum health. If you are using them stop.  Or, just don’t start with tobacco. This includes smokeless tobacco products as well as cigarettes, cigars, pipes and the like. Even natural tobacco products are detrimental to dental health.

Gum disease is treatable and highly preventable. These four preventions take just a little time and can improve your whole-body health. For any questions or concern about symptoms or prevention talk to us.

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